Nepal | July 03, 2020

Pesticide testing infra unlikely in six months: Agriculture minister

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, July 7

Although the government has vowed to resume testing imported vegetables for pesticides after six months, Agriculture Minister Chakra Pani Khanal has said that the time-frame is not enough to build the infrastructure required to test pesticide residue.

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies had revoked its decision to test pesticide residue in vegetables imported from India after the Cabinet meeting on Thursday citing lack of technical preparation and pressure from traders. However, it later stated that testing would resume after six months.

Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Chakra Pani Khanal adressing the National Assembly at the Federal Parliament building in New Baneshwor, Kathmandu, on Sunday, July 7, 2019. Photo: National Assembly live videograb

Addressing the National Assembly today, Minister Khanal said building infrastructure and installing equipment for pesticide testing lab would take more than six months. “It will take at least 10 months to complete all the processes of building infrastructure because after allocating the budget for it, we will have to call a tender and select a contractor before further process can be initiated.”

Currently, there are seven pesticide processing centres in six provinces. Among them, the central pesticide testing centre located in Kalimati market can test pesticide residue of 29 types of chemical groups while the other six can test only two groups of pesticides — phosphate and carbonate groups.

“Our pesticide testing labs are not fully equipped and we have to upgrade them,” Minister Khanal added.

After conducting pesticide tests for almost two weeks, the six pesticide testing labs halted operation following the government’s decision on Thursday. Responding to questions of lawmakers at the assembly regarding the revoked decision on pesticide testing, Khanal said, “Although the working area of agriculture ministry and the Ministry of Industry Commerce and Supplies looks similar, we address different issues.”

He claimed that the agriculture ministry had nothing to do with revoking the decision to stop testing vegetables imported from India for pesticides. Stakeholders are yet to discuss how this issue can be sorted out, as the government is obliged to supply pesticide-free vegetables in the market.

In order to build fully-equipped pesticide testing lab, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has sought Rs 4 billion from the Ministry of Finance. “Our proposal has been submitted to the finance ministry. We will begin the work soon after the budget is allocated,” he said.

 


A version of this article appears in print on July 08, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

In Pictures: Protest against govt's ineffective response to COVID-19 crisis

Kathmandu, July 2 Youths hold placards while maintaining safe distance as they take part in a protest at Patan on Thursday demanding better and effective response from the government in handling COVID-19 outbreak. Read More...

PM Oli at HAMS hospital to take stock of health of activists on Satyagraha

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has visited the HAMS hospital to take stock of health of youth activists who have been staging a fast-unto-death Satyagraha for the last six days. Activist Iih along with others have been staging the Satyagraha demanding that the government correct its cour Read More...

Colombia sex workers

Thailand's migrant sex workers fear for the future

BANGKOK: Bua used to earn up to 40,000 baht ($1,300) a month as a sex worker in Thailand's northern province of Chiang Mai when the coronavirus forced entertainment venues to close, leaving her jobless. Since March, the 32-year-old single mother, who is Burmese, has racked up debts of more than 1 Read More...

Botswana investigating mystery deaths of 275 elephants

GABORONE: The number of elephants found dead in Botswana's Okavango Panhandle has risen to 275 from 154 reported two weeks ago, the government said on Thursday. Authorities are investigating the unexplained deaths over the past months. Poaching has been ruled out as the carcasses were found Read More...

Deepika Padukone champions #DobaraPoocho on importance of discussing mental health issues

KATHMANDU: Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone has urged to be a little more attentive towards their loved ones and repeatedly inquire about their life struggles and mental health issues, through a campaign #DobaraPoocho. Taking to her Instagram on June 30, 34-year-old actor posted a video about che Read More...

Bob Dylan makes chart history with Rough and Rowdy Ways

KATHMANDU: American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has made a chart history with his 39th studio album Rough and Rowdy Ways — the critically-acclaimed full-length debuted at No 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, amassing three million streams and the equivalent of 53,000 album units in the United States. Read More...

British musicians call for govt to help live music industry

KATHMANDU: Some 1,500 British musicians including Sir Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran and The Rolling Stones called for the British government on July 2 to support the live music business survive the novel coronavirus pandemic as the future for concerts, festivals and the people who work in them looks bl Read More...

Actor Samragyee RL Shah exposes sexual, mental and financial exploitation in the Nepali film industry

Actor says many others suffering in silence KATHMANDU : Nepali actor Samragyee RL Shah, who has opened up about harassment she claims to have faced in the Nepali movie industry via a series of videos on her Instagram account, has shared with The Himalayan Times graphic details what she has fa Read More...